Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Qualifier Round: Dodgers (7) struggle to sweep Astros (10)

GAME 1 - Astrodome
Drysdale vs Giusti
Dodgers 5, Astros 2
Big D was his vintage self fanning 8 and hitting one (Doug Rader), but he ran out of gas after just 6 2/3 innings.  Jack Billingham, who would eventually get the win served up a 2 out RBI single to Rader to blow the Dodgers one run lead that they got in the top of the 6th on a two out two run single by Jim Lefebvre.  The theme of the day would be two out rallies as the dodgers cobbled together 3 consecutive singles by Haller, Gabrielson and Lefebvre, with the latter plating Haller for the go ahead run.  A pinch hit double by Willie Crawford off reliever Shea in the top of the 9th gave the Dodgers a 3 run lead.  Jim Brewer was brought on in the 9th to save it for Billingham.
Dodgers lead series 1-0

GAME 2 - Dodger Stadium
Dierker vs Sutton
Dodgers 1, Astros 0

Both team's young righthanders hooked up in a classic pitcher's duel.  Houston's Larry Dierker went the distance allowing just one run on 8 hitters.  His opposing number, Don Sutton, did one better.  Sutton recorded a complete game 7 hit shutout while fanning 7.  Dierker fanned 9.  Both guys walked just 1 apiece.  Runs were going to come at a premium today as the game remained scoreless for 7 1/2 innings.  Willie Davis (3-4) led off the home half of the 8th with a opposite field single to left.  Dierker threw over to first twice trying to keep Davis, who already stole 2 bases, close to the bag.  Wes Parker, batting left handed tried hard to pull one into the 3-4 gap, but after fouling off two pitches went down on strikes.  Dierker again threw over to first to keep Davis close, but finally 3 Dog got a good jump and stole his 3rd sack of the day.  Batter Tom Haller hit a bullet to Dennis Menke at short for the second out.  Menke fired to Torres, who was covering second, but Davis narrowly got back to the bag.  Len Gabrielson, who had flied out weakly twice and lined to first in his other AB lined an opposite field bullet just out of the reach of
Rader at 3rd to score Davis and make it 1-0.  Sutton took the hill in the 9th needing 3 outs to notch the shutout and close out the series in 2 straight.  After getting Wynn and Miller to fly out to Willie Davis in center, Sutton gave Menke a pitch that he could easily line into center to keep the Astros hopes alive.  Those hopes would be dashed as pinch hitter Aspromonte hit a sharp grounder to Popovich at short, who flipped the ball to Lefebvre at second for the final out of the game and the series.
Dodgers win series 2-0

Special thanks to Andy Sexton for doing a gr8 job with a team that was incapable of scoring a run vs even a little league team.  He did a great job making each Dodger victory a monumental struggle for the boys in blue
Series Boxscores are here

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